Next Article in Journal
Polarization of Type 1 Macrophages Is Associated with the Severity of Viral Encephalitis Caused by Japanese Encephalitis Virus and Dengue Virus
Next Article in Special Issue
NK Cells Armed with Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CAR): Roadblocks to Successful Development
Previous Article in Journal
Effect of BCG Revaccination on Occupationally Exposed Medical Personnel Vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2
Previous Article in Special Issue
In Vitro Evaluation of CD276-CAR NK-92 Functionality, Migration and Invasion Potential in the Presence of Immune Inhibitory Factors of the Tumor Microenvironment

NK and T Cell Immunological Signatures in Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19

Respiratory Diseases Unit, Department of Medical Sciences, University Hospital of Siena (Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Senese. AOUS), Viale Bracci, 53100 Siena, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors equally contributed to the study.
Academic Editors: Jacques Zimmer and Vladimir Jurisic
Cells 2021, 10(11), 3182;
Received: 19 October 2021 / Revised: 9 November 2021 / Accepted: 11 November 2021 / Published: 15 November 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Developments of Natural Killer (NK) Cells in Immunotherapy)
Severe acute respiratory syndrome caused by coronavirus 2 emerged in Wuhan (China) in December 2019 and has severely challenged the human population. NK and T cells are involved in the progression of COVID-19 infection through the ability of NK cells to modulate T-cell responses, and by the stimulation of cytokine release. No detailed investigation of the NK cell landscape in clinical SARS-CoV-2 infection has yet been reported. A total of 35 COVID-19 hospitalised patients were stratified for clinical severity and 17 healthy subjects were enrolled. NK cell subsets and T cell subsets were analysed with flow cytometry. Serum cytokines were detected with a bead-based multiplex assay. Fewer CD56dimCD16brightNKG2A+NK cells and a parallel increase in the CD56+CD69+NK, CD56+PD-1+NK, CD56+NKp44+NK subset were reported in COVID-19 than HC. A significantly higher adaptive/memory-like NK cell frequency in patients with severe disease than in those with mild and moderate phenotypes were reported. Moreover, adaptive/memory-like NK cell frequencies were significantly higher in patients who died than in survivors. Severe COVID-19 patients showed higher serum concentrations of IL-6 than mild and control groups. Direct correlation emerged for IL-6 and adaptive/memory-like NK. All these findings provide new insights into the immune response of patients with COVID-19. In particular, they demonstrate activation of NK through overexpression of CD69 and CD25 and show that PD-1 inhibitory signalling maintains an exhausted phenotype in NK cells. These results suggest that adaptive/memory-like NK cells could be the basis of promising targeted therapy for future viral infections. View Full-Text
Keywords: NK cells; T cells; immunology; lung transplant; cytomegalovirus NK cells; T cells; immunology; lung transplant; cytomegalovirus
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

MDPI and ACS Style

Bergantini, L.; d'Alessandro, M.; Cameli, P.; Cavallaro, D.; Gangi, S.; Cekorja, B.; Sestini, P.; Bargagli, E. NK and T Cell Immunological Signatures in Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19. Cells 2021, 10, 3182.

AMA Style

Bergantini L, d'Alessandro M, Cameli P, Cavallaro D, Gangi S, Cekorja B, Sestini P, Bargagli E. NK and T Cell Immunological Signatures in Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19. Cells. 2021; 10(11):3182.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bergantini, Laura, Miriana d'Alessandro, Paolo Cameli, Dalila Cavallaro, Sara Gangi, Behar Cekorja, Piersante Sestini, and Elena Bargagli. 2021. "NK and T Cell Immunological Signatures in Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19" Cells 10, no. 11: 3182.

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Back to TopTop